22 Worrisome Talent Shortage Statistics for Employers (2024)

Talent Shortage Statistics

Do you know what the most important element of your company is?

It’s your team. Sure, your product and services are great, but it’s the people who make them happen. And when those people are happy and fulfilled, they’re more likely to stay with your company longer—and to bring in more business.

But the truth is that sometimes it can be hard to find and retain good employees.

If you’ve been in the recruitment industry for a while now, you’re probably well aware of the talent shortage.  In fact, a recent study found that talent shortage is at a 15-year high.

If you’re still new to the game, we’re going to break it down for you: There’s a shortage of skilled workers in almost every industry.

While that might sound like a nightmare scenario for recruiters and HR professionals, we see it as an opportunity to think outside the box and find talented professionals who are more than capable of doing their jobs well.

In this newsletter, we’ll be sharing several statistics on the talent shortage that will make your head spin—and what you can do about it.

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Talent Shortage Statistics (Editor’s Choice)

Here are the most shocking facts and stats you’ll find below:

  • 54% of global IT organizations reported that talent shortage was holding them back.
  • Seven in ten employers have a hard time employing skilled workers.
  • 75% of large companies with 250+ workers reported dealing with a skill shortage.
  • 41% of employees worldwide consider quitting their jobs.
  • Skill shortage could cost companies worldwide $8.5 trillion in unrealized annual revenues by 2030.
  • 4.3 million American workers voluntarily quit their jobs in December 2021.
  • European companies struggle with talent shortage the most.

As always, we have many more in stock for you! So, scroll down and learn all about the talent shortage trends that haunt recruiters and employers these days.

Latest Talent Shortage Stats and Trends


1. By 2030, there will be a workforce shortage of over 85 million people.

A recent Korn Ferry research focused on the global talent shortage forecasts that there will be over 85 million jobs and no people to fill them by 2030. By the study’s calculations, a shortage of that size – nearly as the population of Germany – would result in around $8.5 trillion in unrealized yearly revenues.

By the report’s estimates, here’s the expected talent shortage by country by 2030:

  • Russia – 6 million
  • China – 12 million
  • United States – 6+ million
  • Japan, Indonesia, Brazil – up to 18 million

(Korn Ferry)


2. Skill shortage is holding back more than half of global IT organizations.

In 2020, 54% of global IT organizations reported that talent shortage prevented them from expanding. Over the years, this figure has been much higher. For example, in 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019 the share of IT companies who struggled with hiring was 65%, 62%, 65%, and 67%, respectively.

If this trend continued, 2020 could’ve been the year when a record-high number of IT organizations would report having this issue. However, the global COVID-19 pandemic affected the hiring abilities and caused the drop we see now.

According to the survey focused on talent shortage in IT organizations, there were five hardest-to-find skills in 2020. These were organizational change management, advanced analytics, cybersecurity, technical architecture, and enterprise architecture.



3. 70% of employers report difficulties in hiring skilled professionals in high-demand sectors.

According to ManpowerGroup research on talent shortage, seven in ten employers have a hard time employing skilled workers. This is especially obvious in areas with high talent demand, such as Manufacturing and Production, Marketing, Sales, IT, and Operations and Logistics.



4. Over 40% of global workers consider quitting their jobs.

Recent reports show that the number of employment opportunities and job postings was steadily growing in 2021. This recovery period after the initial shock of the global COVID-19 pandemic, however, hasn’t been welcomed as warmly as expected. Filling all the new openings is a struggle for many employers.

Moreover, about 41% of workers globally consider leaving their jobs after a stressful and uncertain year. Employers in Canada and the United States report fewer job applications from 12.1 in late 2020 to 4.4 in early 2021. On the other hand, the average number of days to hire increased, highlighting the prolonged process of finding talent.

(The Kable Group)


5. More than two-thirds of employers globally struggle to find employees with relevant skills and traits.

About 69% of companies have difficulties hiring workers with suitable skill sets accompanied by the right human strengths. These include reliability, discipline, stress tolerance, adaptability, accountability, and resilience for most employers. Among these, the most challenging soft skills to find for most employers (33%) are accountability, reliability, and discipline.

This figure represents a 15-year-high when it comes to the inability to find and hire the right workers. In 2020, for example, the talent shortage was affecting only 31% of companies or less than one-third. By 2015, this share had risen to 38%, only to progress to 40%, 49%, and 58% the following three years.



6. The larger the company, the more significant the skill shortage.

The latest talent shortage statistics show that this issue affects large companies with 250+ employees the most. On a global level, 75% of such companies reported dealing with the inability to hire skilled workers. By comparison, respective 72%, 64%, and 63% of medium (50-250 employees), small (10-49 employees), and micro (less than ten employees) businesses have the same issue.

These figures, however, vary in different countries. For instance, in the United States, medium-sized businesses (36%) are the ones that struggle the most with finding suitable candidates. In contrast, in the UK, micro-businesses (84%) lead the way when it comes to talent shortage. In Australia, small businesses (72%) can’t seem to have an easy hiring process due to skill shortages.



7. What employers offer versus what workers want is essential to closing the gap.

The latest data shows that 75% of companies want at least half of the employees to show up for work. This requirement isn’t always just a wish but often demanded by the role. Yet, 43% of the active workforce believes that the pandemic marked the end of traditional 9-5 jobs. About 80% of workers admit wanting a better work-life balance, and 81% want higher job satisfaction.

The inability to fill in positions, however, has pushed for positive changes among organizations. Flexible start and finish times (36%), a mix of remote and office work (31%), and flexible working hours (29%) are some of the most popular newly introduced perks.



8. European employers are filling open positions the hardest.

In their global study on talent shortage, ManpowerGroup highlights European organizations as the ones with the most difficulties in hiring workers. France, Romania, and Italy were the countries where this issue was the most felt. On the other end came China, India, and South Africa where finding skilled employees wasn’t nearly as hard.

Here are some figures to give you a perspective of how the skill shortage affects various countries worldwide.

  • France – 88%
  • Romania – 85%
  • Italy – 85%
  • Turkey 83%
  • Germany – 82%
  • United Kingdom – 77%
  • Japan – 76%
  • Canada – 75%
  • Argentina – 72%
  • Australia – 67%
  • South Africa – 46%
  • India – 43%
  • United States – 32%
  • China – 28%

Interpretation: In the [country/city], as many as [number]% of employers are finding it difficult to fill jobs these days.



9. Talent shortage is the biggest roadblock to adopting emerging technologies.

A study focused on emerging technologies adoption revealed that talent shortage was the biggest barrier for 64% of IT executives. In 2020, only 4% of these professionals gave the same response. So, it seems that talent shortage is a new issue that companies will have to find ways to resolve if they want expansion and growth.

By comparison, 29% and 7% of the IT executives cited implementation costs and security risks as significant adoption barriers for new technologies.

A similar situation was seen when it comes to implementing IT automation technologies and digital workplace technologies. Namely, talent availability was the primary concern for 75% and 41% of IT executives who work within these respective sectors.



10. The retirement of Baby Boomers is one of the talent shortage drivers.

By 2030, nearly all Baby Boomers will be out of the workforce due to retirement. Solely in Q3 of 2020, around 28.6 million of them left the labor force in the United States and retired. Companies seem to react slowly to this trend because millions of high-skilled jobs remain hard to fill due to the lack of adequately trained professionals.

Moreover, experts have seen that there has been a recent increase in the share of Baby Boomers who retire. This could create even more problems for companies seeking to find suitable replacements.

(Korn Ferry, PEWResearch)


11. 80% of the top ten in-demand jobs are in short supply of talent.

According to the 2020 What Workers Want report, the top ten roles in high demand in 2019 were the following:

  • Skilled trades – welders, electricians, mechanics
  • Sales and marketing – graphic designers, salespeople, managers
  • Technicians – technical staff, quality controllers
  • Engineering – mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical
  • Driving and logistics – mass transit, delivery, construction, truck
  • IT – network administrators, cybersecurity experts, tech support
  • Accounting and finance – financial analysts, accountants, auditors
  • Manufacturing – production, machine operations
  • Construction – workers
  • Healthcare – doctors, nurses, other health professionals

Among these, 80% have reported difficulties finding skilled workers. By contrast, roles like office administrators, project managers, researchers, and lawyers have lost their place among the top ten in-demand jobs. The main reason behind this seems to be the automation of repetitive tasks.



12. Healthcare staff shortages are arriving in the United States.

In 2021, 83% of hospitals and healthcare system executives forecasted shortages of nursing staff. These are worrisome figures considering how the healthcare system is the cornerstone of every society. An additional 30% mentioned the lack of physicians as another serious issue coming our way.



13. Money is the best way to attract and retain employers.

While there are tons of studies showing how people differ by gender and age, this doesn’t seem to be the case when it comes to employment.

The latest figures show that both men and women, as well as Gen Zs, Millennials, Gen Xers, and Baby Boomers, all would take and keep a job for the salary. In all of these categories, money was named as the best way to attract and retain them as employees.

The other priorities, however, often vary. Flexible working hours and challenging work were popular picks, especially among workers from the younger generations. Younger employees also appreciated opportunities to develop their skills and work with a great team. The rest seemed focused on having a good boss and shorter commute times.



14. More than half of video gaming executives agree that the technical talent shortage in the industry will grow.

Statista asked executives in the video gaming industry whether they think the skill shortage will grow in the period between 2019 and 2024. More than half (52%) responded positively, and nearly one-fourth (23%) of them strongly agreed with the statement.



15. The Canadian tech sector struggles with unmet demand.

The tech sector in Canada is a cornerstone of the country’s economy, providing more than 1.4 million jobs. A rapid growth, however, often means a talent shortage for employers. Between 2015 and 2021, the sector added over 16,500 new employment opportunities and noted an annual growth rate of 1.8%.

During the same period, the unmet demand was shocking 30,500 jobs, out of which 23,400 were tech roles and 7,100 non-tech ones. This figure has been growing fast over the years.

For instance, in 2016, the skill shortage counted about 5,300 roles, and then it nearly doubled to 10,570 the following year. It surpassed 20,000 as soon as 2019, and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down

(BCTech Association)


16. In Canada, technical and interpersonal skills are the most needed junior-level qualifications.

Technical skills are very needed for nearly 60% of the companies and needed for nearly 80% of them. Interpersonal talents are very needed for nearly one-quarter of employers and needed for over 60% of them. Creativity and innovation round up the top-three competencies in high demand as this has been required by 60% of companies.

The other junior-level skills in high and moderate demand are leadership, entrepreneurship, and sales. But they are essential to less than 25% of organizations hiring.

(BCTech Association)


17. Skill shortage affects businesses in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, as well.

Most private businesses in the Sub-Saharan Africa region admitted having revenue losses due to a lack of skilled workers. For the respective 15% and 30% of the respondents, the losses were significant and great.

About 34% had slight revenue losses due to labor shortage, whereas only 21% of the survey participants didn’t have this issue.



18. Skill shortage was the second most challenging difficulty for hiring talent among cyber security companies worldwide.

In the 2018 Global Cyber Security Talent Survey, AON Hewitt mapped the top hiring challenges of cyber security organizations worldwide. The issues were ranked with grades from 1 to 5, with 5 being the biggest concern for companies.

Attracting top talent and skill shortages got the first two positions with scores of 3.31 and 3.23, respectively. They were followed by justifying pay premiums for niche roles (3.14), long hiring periods (2.98), and attrition (2.58).



19. Nearly half of executive search firms think that talent shortage is getting worse.

According to 2020 data, 45% of executive search firms believed that talent shortage worsened. Only 30% or less than one-third said they felt the situation was getting better.

The remaining respondents didn’t have any strong opinions on the topic. Still, these figures show that the shortage of talent is a significant concern for companies worldwide.



20. A record-breaking number of open positions in the United States.

In December 2021, there was a record-high number of job openings as employees could apply for one of 10.9 million roles. Another figure was equally shocking – 4.3 million American workers voluntarily quit their jobs the same month.

These figures show the struggles companies face when in demand of fresh talent. Moreover, the data reveals that 33% of applicants have ghosted potential employers. The main reason for doing so was the poor interview process.

(Robert Half)


21. Informed candidates lead to fewer hires?

Companies that struggle with hiring cite several reasons for failing to fill roles. Candidates wanting more flexibility (40%), accepting other offers (35%), and being unhappy with the salary offered (24%) are the top ones.

From workers’ perspective, there’s a trend of being more informed about what to expect and ask for. About 51% of candidates researched salary ranges for the roles they applied for.

Moreover, 33% and 25% calculated the ideal salary for their personal needs and discussed the payroll with colleagues, respectively. All these details make candidates have high and specific expectations that employers aren’t always ready to meet.

(Robert Half)


22. Nearly two-thirds of companies are adding new permanent positions.

Whatever the struggles of 2022 turn out to be, getting a job shouldn’t be one of them. Companies across all sectors report serious employment plans, with 65% of them adding new permanent positions and 33% hiring for vacant positions. Only 2% and 1% have announced plans to freeze hiring or eliminate jobs.

With such aggressive hiring plans among companies, the talent shortage will become more evident than ever. Skilled employees these days have numerous opportunities, and many of them can afford to ask exactly what they’re looking for in a job. Any company unwilling to meet recruits’ needs will struggle to hire top talent.

Note – the figures may not equal 100% due to rounding.

(Robert Half)



And now that you’re all caught up on the latest talent shortage statistics, we’ll leave you to get back to work finding candidates.

You know what’s going on (and why), you have the information you need to make positive changes in your business and industry. Hire an apprentice! Spice up your training program! Make sure you have a diverse staff with varying talents, backgrounds, and perspectives!

And make sure to share what you learn with everyone else, so we can all help each other out of this mess!

For others, don’t let talent shortages hold you back from pursuing your dream career or starting your own business. Don’t let them stop you from working for the company of your dreams—or maybe even starting that company yourself.

Businesses are having a tough time finding great talent, especially in the fields of IT, accounting, and sales. Interestingly, many of the skills that these positions need aren’t hard to learn—and there are plenty of easily accessible resources for those who want to learn them.

You got this. Now go show the world what you’re made of!

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